Sunday, January 10, 2010

"Only The Good Die Young"

Doug always said he was going to die young. I used to snicker and tell him he was crazy. But he knew something that I did not: Doug, my first true love, passed away from complications of a massive stroke in his mid-50s. Fred, a post-college friend who was divored and living alone, died after suffering a heart attack. A co-worker found him several days later. Dear, sweet Sue lived a bit longer; she succumbed to pancreatic cancer not long after her 68th birthday. The suicide of my brother at age 30 remains the most painful loss of all.

I'm beginning to think Billy Joel was on to something when he penned the lyrics to "Only The Good Die Young." I can rattle off a list of not-so-good folks - yes, Dick Cheney, I'm thinking of you! - who despite all kinds of health issues carry on with a vengeance like that damn Energizer bunny. Cheney has had, count them, 4 heart attacks, coronary bypass surgery, coronary angioplasty, a defibrillator, and more, yet the sucker spits his poisonous venom daily.

And, you, Mr. Lieberman, who as an "independent" openly campaigned for John McCain, flip flopped on health care like a dizzy salmon caught in an illegal fisherman's net ("Let's Make A Deal," anyone?), and is now tromping around the globe with McCain, pontificating about the urgency of our military to up the ante in multiple world hot spots . . . you are another one whose life I would trade in a New York minute.

I'm trying my best to understand this apparent karmic conundrum: The good die young, and the bad guys (and gals) keep on keeping on. Am I to cling to the belief that we all go around more than once and that these sickos will get their just reward? If not in this lifetime then in the next or the next? And will I be anywhere in the vicinity to witness the prosecution? Or is that asking too much and tagging me as vengeful and unforgiving.

Perhaps I should have stayed on at Loyola Press and worked on the revision of the series Finding God.

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